Cumberland County Playhouse – Flight of the Lawnchair Man

Cumberland County Playhouse – Flight of the Lawnchair Man

International aviation and business publisher TAP Publishing Company, whose mid ‘60’s support helped to launch the Cumberland County Playhouse, will be recognized at the Friday, May 23rd performance of FLIGHT OF THE LAWNCHAIR MAN as the theater’s Founding Sponsor, and as the 2008 “Taking Flight Sponsor” of flying effects in three ’08 shows at Tennessee’s most popular theater. The production of LAWNCHAIR MAN is sponsored by ceramic tile manufacturer Crossville, Inc.

TAP’S flagship publication, Trade-A-Plane, is considered the worldwide “bible” of general aviation. LAWNCHAIR MAN celebrates the independent spirit of those who explore adventure in the air, and fly private planes, ultralights and early aircrafts.

Margaret Keyes Harrison, TAP’s late Managing Partner, was among CCP’s original incorporators, joining original First National Bank’s late president Moses Dorton and first CCP Producing Director Paul Crabtree in that role. Other key early leaders and businesses included Hill’s Department Store (Martha Hill), Simonton Dairy (CC Simonton), Cumberland Clinic’s Bette Evans Halverstadt, Plateau Properties (Grace and Arthur Harrison), Carl Sutton, Carroll (“Shadow”) Davenport, old Plateau Chevrolet’s Vaughn and Wilma Swafford, the original First National’s J.W. Brown, and the Crossville Chronicle (Donald and Jane Ann Brookhart). Cumberland County Schools, under Board Chair and Superintendent Ethel Metcalfe and O.C. Stewart, collaborated closely.

TAP’s support has helped underwrite flying effects for ‘08’s Playhouse PETER PAN, the upcoming Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and the current American Heartland Premiere of FLIGHT OF THE LAWNCHAIR MAN, the new musical which previously had been professionally mounted only in the NY and LA areas.

Several TAP Partners and Employees have served on the Playhouse Board of Directors, including the late daughter of Margaret Harrison, Joanne Harrison Stone; Joanne and Roy Stone’s children Steve Stone, Julia Stone Burgess, and current TAP CEO Cosby Stone. Joanne Stone, along with children Mike, Steve, Margaret, Cosby, Julia and Carolyn, performed in many Playhouse productions in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, including the original TENNESSEE, USA! Which opened the new theater in ’65. Other TAP partners who are members of the Strachn and Durfee branches of the Harrison family have also participated and provided important support.

FLIGHT OF THE LAWNCHAIR MAN is based on the true story of Larry Walters, who hitched weather balloons to his lawnchair, intending to go up about 100 feet, and floated to16,000 feet, encountering airliners and Federal Aviation Administration alarm. The musical continues through July 11th at CCP, in rotating rep with gospel musical SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN HOMECOMING, sponsored by First National Bank of Tennessee; and the comedy FIRST BAPTIST OF IVY GAP, sponsored by Crossville Ford-Lincoln-Mercury. Tickets can be purchased from the Playhouse Box Office at (931) 484 – 5000. Visit the Playhouse online at to view the full season schedule and additional information.
Posted 5.20.08

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